Felipe Massa has insisted the 'blackout' that afflicted his Ferrari in opening practice for this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix - a year on from receiving a black flag in the race - will not affect his or the team's preparations for the remainder of the weekend, even if the problem has yet to be diagnosed.

The Brazilian - who has a highest qualifying position of fifth last year and best finish of fourth place with Sauber-Petronas back in 2005 - lapped fastest of all in the wet morning session around the challenging Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Montreal's Ile Notre-Dame. He would end proceedings just fifth, however, more than six tenths of a second shy of the leading pace after his F2008 mysteriously ground to a halt out on-track during the afternoon running.

"My car seemed to suffer some sort of blackout," the 27-year-old - Formula 1's best qualifier of the year to-date - affirmed. "Gradually all the systems shut down and I had to stop at the side of the track. Of course, that's not good, but it's better to have a problem in free practice than in qualifying or, worse still, in the race! Even if we did not get through everything we wanted to do, this problem won't cost us anything.

"From what we could understand, it is very close between us and our main rivals. As usual on a Friday in Montreal, the track was very dirty and will therefore improve bit-by-bit as the surface gets rubbered in. I hope I can have a great qualifying and claim a good position on the grid."

Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen endured no such unexpected woes, lapping respectively fifth and third-quickest in the two sessions - and professing himself in confident mood as he bids to reclaim the championship lead he threw away with his Monaco mistake.

"I am quite satisfied with the first day of testing," the Finn underlined. "We were always quick, the car turned out to be well-balanced right from the morning and I think we can aim for the top spots over the rest of the weekend.

"From what we have seen so far, there is not much difference in the performance of the two types of Bridgestone tyre we have available to us, but the track conditions are bound to change over the next couple of days. At this track, it is very important to have the brakes sorted in the race and we also worked on this."

The Scuderia's team principal Stefano Domenicali urged on the side of caution, however, well aware that the scarlet machines received something of a drubbing at the hands of chief rivals McLaren-Mercedes across the Pond this time last year, garnering just four points from a woeful weekend compared to the Silver Arrows' twelve.

"In the morning the track stayed damp for a good part of the session," the Italian commented, "while in the afternoon we had a problem with Felipe, the cause of which we have yet to ascertain. However, we gathered a good amount of data to analyse for the rest of the weekend.

"As usual on a Friday, the results have to be viewed with caution as we don't know what fuel loads other drivers were running. As for ourselves, we worked to prepare for Sunday's race and are reasonably happy with our performance level."

"[It was] a shame about the technical problem on Felipe's car," added Maranello's technical director Luca Baldisserri, "the cause of which we still need to understand.

"It prevented him from completing all the work we had scheduled for the three hours of free practice, but in any case, we have enough information to be as well-prepared as possible for qualifying and the race. It's too early to say where we are in the pecking order, but we will definitely be competitive."